Strictly’s Luba Mushtuk ‘extremely grateful’ as she addresses huge change to BBC show

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Last year, Strictly Come Dancing fans feared their favourite Saturday night dance show would be cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. But, with just a few changes to the show’s format, the BBC found a way to air the series in its usual slot. In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Strictly pro Luba Mushtuk shared her thoughts on the reports Strictly will be very different to the 2020 series when it returns later this year. 

When Strictly aired last year, Blackpool week and a host of other Strictly elements were cancelled. 

There was no live studio audience and the number of shows were reduced from 13 to nine. 

However, Ballroom and Latin dancer Luba has revealed she was pleased these changes were made as it ensured Strictly went ahead. 

She began: “I think that we all were extremely grateful to have any sort of possibility to still do the show.

Read more: Ola Jordan admits she had to ‘choose’ between motherhood and Strictly

“Obviously those changes, were extremely necessary to do, and I was just extremely grateful every week that we still can keep going.”

Luba continued: “The production team done such an incredible job to keep us safe and make them happen.

“I think that the nation, really needed us to do the show and we managed to do the show.

“Even if it was shorter, even if there was no Blackpool or even if there was no audience, we still made it and we made so many people happy for those two hours on Saturday night.”

It’s recently been reported that when the 2021 series airs, Strictly will return with many of the elements that had to dropped last year including Blackpool week and a live studio audience. 

The Strictly star was asked whether she welcomes the return of iconic features of the show. 

“Absolutely,” Luba replied. “I mean I’ve been to Blackpool since I think I was probably 10 the first time I went there for a competition.

“So Blackpool has always been a part of my career of my life and I love going there.”

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The Strictly star said: “I love fish and chips – I  don’t eat fish, but I do eat chips. So I’m extremely happy to be back.

“The atmosphere in the tower ballroom is always magical, it’s just something that you can describe.

“But the energy there is just incredible so I’m very happy to be back.”

Last year, the uncertainty of lockdown restrictions meant the iconic trip had to the cancelled but this year bosses are hoping to return to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. 

A source explained: “Strictly and the BBC set the gold standard last year in terms of putting a show on during a pandemic.

“They worked incredibly hard and they managed to keep instances of Covid-19 right down. There were rigorous protocols in place.”

The source added: “The pinnacle will be the trip to Blackpool and that’s always been the way on Strictly.

“As things stand, the whole show will head to the North West in November. Everyone is really excited,” they told The Sun.

Luba’s clothing range is available now from www.merrrch.com.  Follow on Instagram @lubamushtuk 

Strictly Come Dancing is scheduled to return later this year on BBC One.

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